puzzle pieces

Monday, November 29, 2010

Beautiful in the Mundane

Driving to work I stopped to look at this.

Walking to get my mail I watched how shadows fell.

Washing the dishes I enjoyed this view.

Hiking a trail I left a smile for whoever came next.

It's finding beauty in every day mundane which sometimes keeps me going.

It can be 
quite a 

beautiful Life.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Someone is watching you.....

{"Setting an example is not the main means of 
influencing another, it is the only means."}
~Albert Einstein

It turns out I am a terrible driver.
Oh- I was told so in a very respectable way.
But I am now completely aware of all the mistakes I have and am making while I behind the wheel.

Did you know I tail gate?
And...I definitely do not stop at a Stop sign for the mandatory 3 seconds.
Don't even ask about shoulder checking.
Or drinking coffee behind the wheel.

Turns out that when your teenager takes a Drivers Education class.....they become super smart.

And you  realize how much you aren't doing correctly.
And...how much you are being watched.

{"If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example."
~George Bernard Shaw}


Turns out it doesn't just happen with us humans.

My "old" dog is being followed by the "new dog".

Everything the "old" dog does...the new one copies.
Looking that way.
Then this way.
Look left.
Then forward again.

(Seems as though my dog would have no problem with shoulder checking;)

{"A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not."}

I am wishing I would have been a bit more careful in all I have done up to this point while raising kids.

by the sounds of things,
 there does come a point when your teenager seems to know more than you do.

{Be a positive example at all times, and when necessary- use words.}
Thinking I may need to sign myself in to that Drivers Education class today....

Friday, November 26, 2010

"no matter....the road is life"

"The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross 
and which  to burn"
~David Russell

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover 
that the prisoner was you."
~Lewis B. Smedes

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; 
we had longer ways to go. 
But no matter, the road is life.”
                                           ~ Jack Kerouac

Let Go~ Forgive~Embrace

Three things I have learned over this year.
And am still learning.

(photos taken with my cell phone - during a backpacking trip on the west coast this spring)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

little things

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
-- Epictetus

Being Thankful for all the little things today.

(happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

~my Arctic Desert~

~The Glacier~

~Windswept terrain~

~Ground Cover~

~Arctic Cactus~

~my Polar Bear~

~{defying} my Arctic Desert's Cold~

(would i want to be anywhere else?)

{ok....i have to be honest. yes.
a sandy white beach would be nice.}

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Star of Struggle

{~Another post from the past~
As I pulled the Star out again this year, 
it made me think of what came before ~ and all that is now.
~I had to share this once more.~}

As I shut off the lights of my (maybe-too-early) Christmas tree tonight, the star hanging by an old twist tie attached to the top branch of the tree caught my eye.
It was the star my husband of only 2 months had made with me.....

When we got married- 18 years ago- we of course had the typical struggles of most average newly married couples; student loans, still-going-to-school loans, rent payments, scarce furniture about the rented place, hunger pains.... 
(I remember openly "Yahoo-ing" in the grocery store when Kraft Dinner boxes would go on sale for 32cents...which we then would take home and make by adding the cheese packet with water (no milk or butter) and then have toast with jam (given by his mother) for dessert.
So when our 1st Christmas was upon us a mere 2 months after the wedding- it was quite the effort to scrimp and save but still have enough money to feel festive. 
Hence the cut-out star. 
He drew it on a a cardboard box we had used to move in with, 
I covered it with tinfoil, 
he attached a twist tie, 
and VOILA! - the top for our Charlie Brown tree.

All this to say....we struggled. I struggled moving away from home. He struggled to find a job in a new place. I struggled through nursing school. We struggled to adjust to married life. 
As years went by struggles came and went. But rest assured once a struggle was worked through...yep! a new one was around the corner.
This never-ending battling has persisted....not just with each other and marriage, but also on an individual basis.
And I see it everywhere. We all struggle . Through something. It may be a completely different issue from one person to the next but we're all doing it. Trying to get through our days, weeks, years - scrambling through the mess we call life. And it's hard. 
And sometimes you wonder just why it seems to never end.

When I looked at that cardboard star tonight, it made me think that the struggles I faced 18 years ago- are NOT the ones I face today. 
The ones I face today- I HOPE will not be the ones I face in the next 18 years from now. For that reason and hope alone, I'll keep dancing. 
And I will probably hold something else up in remembrance of the struggles of today, wave them in the air, 
and ecstatically "yahoo" that those struggles are over!

~beyond all that struggle~life is grand!~

{Just a side note:
Guess what? 
The struggles I was facing a year ago when I wrote this~ are NOT the same ones I was facing back then;)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

~Window View~

~It's getting colder and colder here.
My window often looks like this when I wake up.
I don't mind the change in scenery....
as long as it doesn't last!~

It makes me think of my favorite "Artistic Photographer"....
Wilson A. Bentley.
(I did a post on this about a year ago, and thought I would "re-write" on him again.)

"I am a poor man except in the satisfaction  I get out of my work. In that respect I am one of the richest men in the world. I wouldn't change places with Henry Ford or John D. Rockefeller for all their millions! And I wouldn't change places with a king; nor for all his power and glory. I have my snowflakes!" (Wilson A. Bentley)
Two years ago I bought my oldest son a book on Wilson A. Bentley...better known as "The Snowflake Man". Bentley spent his life (1865-1931) studying the science and magnificence of snow crystals. As a teen he taught himself to photograph snow flakes....and ended up with over 5,000 photographs of all different snow crystals...no 2 being alike!

I cannot imagine the time, dedication, let alone patience it would take to do something like that. 
Yet, why would he not? 
If possible, look at some of his work....it is absolutely incredible.
Each one IS different.
They're more than  just snow crystals. 

{My son took all these pictures for me.
I think Wilson A. Bentley is inspiring us!}

Friday, November 19, 2010

This and That

Drinking in the SUNSHINE....
anywhere I can find it today!

Simple things such as.........
This season's first cross-country ski.

Or in....
Silly Popsicle Towers I find on my counter.

And even....
A new member added to our family.
Just This and That things.

And something you may just want to check out over at my Cousin's Blog {OUR LITTLE LOVE NEST}
Dee is one amazingly creative person.
(I'm pretty proud to say I'm related to her:)

She has designed this Adventure Calendar for the new year
which is now up for sale in her Etsy Shop.
Take a peek.
Adventure Awaits.....

Have a wonderful weekend !
(I think my weekend will be spent training that new member of our family.....)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First Walk in to Winter~

Life is a funny thing.
So are kids.
I just tucked my son in, and as I was shutting the door- he reminded me that, "I'm sure hoping the tooth fairy will come tonight."
This is the same son who set up a mouse trap and stuck his tooth inside of it- hoping to once and for all trap the TOOTH FAIRY.
No wonder she's missed coming the last 2 nights. Probably forgot out of sheer terror because of that one horrific episode.
(For your information...the Tooth Fairy managed to extract the tooth from the trap- without snapping it- and also left a kind note behind begging him to never do that again. How she managed, (or why she even bothered!!!!) to lay the money in the trap without setting the thing off,  still makes me shake my head.)

There's a small blizzard playing out side my window tonight.
I managed to walk in it all before it really started acting up....and found everything wearing a new Winters coat.

My baby spruce trees last week  ~ Now dressed for winter

A summer cottage closed off for the season

Proof that color can be found if you look hard enough

And my Thinking Bench feeling a bit neglected

And my Butterfly Houses I should have taken down.
But didn't.
I always thought I would have one more nice Fall day to do it...
I guess I pushed my luck.

The sound of the wind and knowing how cold it is outside, makes me realize once again how blessed I am to have a warm home and a bed with a feather quilt, apple cider to drink by the mug-fulls, 
and a fire to sit beside while I drink it.

I am not taking anything of this for granted.

Now I need to go brave a different type of storm.
That of the Tooth Fairy.
Wish me luck.

(I don't THINK he has any sort of plan to capture her tonight.)
If there is no post tomorrow, you can assume the Tooth Fairy may have met her demise.....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

~Only the Lonely~

this is my favorite picture.
i was alone.
          it was quiet, and beautiful, and i never wanted to return to land.

another favorite picture.(i have a lot:)
i was just getting ready to cross a mountain stream.
it was an adventure i did by myself.

In both these instances i was alone.
i wasn't lonely.
(i rather like being alone)

but put me in a room with someone- or a group- 
 who doesn't hear my heart...and i am an island.

i have often said i feel alone even though surrounded by people.
(it's hard to find alone time in a house of 6.)
i have heard others lament the same thing.
they can be in a crowd and never feel more lonely than at that moment.

i am beginning to think -
that feeling of alone isn't loneliness.

i am starting to wonder if maybe.....
it's more of a frustration or a hurt.

 of not being heard.
having no one who can relate.
not being understood.
or worse- being misunderstood.

i think there's a trick.
it begins when you realize there are going to be times when just maybe- 
no one WILL get it.

i am me.
me with the thoughts i think and feelings i feel.
and they don't have to be understood all the time.
i get it.
and maybe.....the person standing next to me in the crowd is just as lonely as i.
all i really have to do- is catch their eye- and smile.
i understand.

{an adventure we do ourselves is sometimes the most rewarding.}

Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself.
 - Thomas Browne

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Up for some Change?

"A penny is a lot of money if you have not got a penny."
~Yiddish proverb

I'm not sure about this.
"They" want to end the life of the penny.

I know.
It's a silly matter.
And truthfully...I don't know why debates can go on over something so trivial in today's world of other worries.
(Like whether or not we should change the words to our National Anthem.
Seriously...do we not have more pressing matters with which to waste time on?)
{Sorry...I DO realize this hits nerves with some people...and it DOES bother me.
My point is....WHO even brings these issues up?!?}

But humor me.

Pennies can be a nuisance.
Especially when they end up in the bottom of a purse and you know they're there...just adding weight and rattling around like unnecessary jingle bells.
Many times my wallet has held more weight in pennies than anything else.
(If pennies were worth their weight.....)

But what about the times you need $2.27?
Or the luck of finding one on the sidewalk?
And really.....they've been around since 1920....it's kind of a history thing.
Then there are the all the Penny Quotes in existence because of the Penny.

Collect them over time, and pennies turn themselves into dollars.
Penny Candy may have never existed if it weren't for the penny...(or is that the chicken and the egg scenario?)

"A penny saved is a penny earned."
~"take care of your pennies...and the dollars take care of themselves"~

I don't know...and don't really care either way.

I just know that my 11 year old is on a Penny Collecting Adventure right now.
And I am having to deal with pennies.
He even goes to the bank and exchanges a $10 bill for ten dollars worth of rolled pennies....in search of that treasured Collectors Coin.

"A penny saved is a penny earned."
~Benjamin Franklin

Meanwhile...there are sites up that are trying to "Save the Penny"...
and you can buy these T-Shirt's.
The media has a bit more material for articles because of this entire Penny-matter.
And even  the Senate DEBATES the issue.
(As if they need more reason to debate. And more reason to USE our pennies:(
 I guess I'm not guilt-free now either.
I just wrote this post.

Penny for your thoughts?